Stock market news live updates: Stocks drift higher as earnings roll in, Bitcoin sets all-time high

Stocks extended gains on Wednesday as investors eyed a batch of stronger-than-expected earnings results with increasing optimism over the trajectory of corporate profits, even in the face of ongoing supply chain constraints.

The S&P 500 rose by about 0.3% Wednesday morning The blue-chip index closed out a fifth straight session in positive territory on Tuesday, marking its longest winning streak since August.

Bitcoin (BTC) prices rose above $65,000 to set a fresh all-time high. The cryptocurrency held onto gains from earlier this week, after the first-ever Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund, or the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), rose by nearly 5% in its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Shares of Netflix (NFLX) fell in early trading despite posting third-quarter earnings and subscriber growth that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. United Air Lines (UAL) shares rose after the carrier delivered a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and revenue that topped expectations, albeit while remaining some 32% below 2019 levels.

These better-than-feared earnings results — in addition to those from earlier reporters including the big banks last week, and Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson earlier this week — have helped assuage traders’ concerns that corporate profits would slow dramatically after a second-quarter surge. Investors have been nervously monitoring inflation data showing prices jumping by the most in decades, on top of a myriad reports over persistent labor and materials shortages and delivery issues. All of these factors were expected to weigh heavily on corporate profits.

“We think investors have been too pessimistic on earnings expectations,” Jon Adams, BMO Capital Markets senior investment strategist, told Yahoo Finance Live. “It does look like Q2 was likely the peak, but Q3 is going to be strong, probably above 30% year-over-year [growth].”

“We think the strength will continue into the fourth quarter, we’re not overly concerned about profit margins,” Adams added. “We are closely monitoring supply chain issues and increasing wage pressures but still think that profit margins are at healthy levels, and that there’s more upside to come.”

Other pundits also suggested price pressures may begin to ease over the coming quarters.

“I do think that as these supply chain issues subside throughout the course of 2022, we’re also going to start to see inflation moderate from these elevated levels,” Meera Pandit, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told Yahoo Finance Live. “It won’t be completely transitory. Things like housing, things like food – we’ve seen wages come a little bit higher. So we’re going to see higher inflation than we did during the last expansion. But it’s going to come down and moderate from these levels.”

10:20 a.m. ET: Adobe expects a record U.S. online holiday shopping season despite widespread supply shortages

U.S. e-commerce sales over the holidays are predicted to hit a record this year, according to Adobe’s annual online holiday shopping forecast. However, widespread shortages may keep some companies from keeping pace with surging consumer demand.

The firm expects holiday-period online sales to reach an all-time high of $207 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 in the U.S. That would represent a jump of 10% compared to the same period in 2020. Worldwide online sales online are expected to grow 11% over last year to reach $910 billion, Adobe added.

Though demand is still strong, supply-chain challenges have weighed on companies heading into the holiday shopping period.

“Compared to a pre-pandemic period (Jan 2020), the prevalence of out-of-stock messages has risen a whopping 172% going into the holiday season,” Adobe said in its press statement. “Adobe expects it to remain at this level, increasing for certain products throughout the season.”

The firm added apparel was currently experiencing the highest level of out-of-stocks, followed by sporting goods, baby products and electronics.

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open higher

Here’s where markets were trading just after the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +7.74 (+0.17%) to 4,527.37

  • Dow (^DJI): +30.55 (+0.09%) to 35,487.86

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +20.24 (+0.15%) to 15,151.3

  • Crude (CL=F): -$1.16 (-1.40%) to $81.80 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$13.60 (+0.77%) to $1,784.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.2 bps to yield 1.646%

9:20 a.m. ET: Mortgage rates jump to highest level in 6 months: MBA

Mortgage rates jumped to their highest level in six months amid a march higher in benchmark interest rates, with inflation expectations increasing alongside a rise in prices for a broad array of goods and services.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 3.23% for the week ended Oct. 15, according to a weekly update from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This compared to 3.18% during the prior week.

The latest rate marched the highest since April, and a jump of more than 0.25 percentage points since late July.

For the latest week, mortgage application volume also tumbled 6.3%, with the rise in rates deterring many potential homebuyers from entering the market. During the previous week, mortgage applications had risen by 0.2%.

7:32 a.m. ET Wednesday: Stock futures trade little change amid earnings

Here’s where markets were trading Wednesday morning:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): unchanged, trading at 4,511.25

  • Dow futures (YM=F): -4 points (-0.01%), to 35,319.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +11 points (+0.07%) to 15,409.50

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.99 (-1.19%) to $81.97 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$11.40 (+0.64%) to $1,781.90 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.3 bps to yield 1.637%

6:02 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures point to a lower open

Here’s where markets were trading Tuesday evening:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +2 points (+0.04%), to 4,513.25

  • Dow futures (YM=F): +8 points (+0.02%), to 35,331.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +3.75 points (+0.02%) to 15,402.25

New York Stock Exchange. Manhattan, New York City.

New York Stock Exchange. Manhattan, New York City.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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